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“That only made him more of a hero to us,” countryman Miguel Angel Jimenez recalled back in 2010. “There were so few models for many of us when we began playing, but it was not just his swing. It was how he walked, like a leader all the time, how he never lost his fighting spirit, no matter how much trouble he was in.

“It was so many things,” he added. “So many.”

And now there is one more.


Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at) and follow him at